Welcome to Breastfeeding Friendly! After the birth of my second child, I learned firsthand that unfortunately this world is not always breastfeeding friendly. The mistreatment I experienced nagged at me until I pursued it to a positive end. And that’s really what moved me to start this blog. A story to inspire and simple tools to empower anyone to take action-whether big or small-and help create a culture that welcomes breastfeeding.

Whatever your situation in the breastfeeding landscape, hopefully your visit here will help you to:

  • Feel comfortable to nurse in public, anytime, anywhere you need to;
  • Support your wife, friend, colleague, client, sister, daughter or other relative to breastfeed, whenever and wherever the baby needs to nurse;
  • Respond to situations of injustice regarding breastfeeding;
  • Effect positive change to make your local community more breastfeeding friendly;
  • Revise your company’s policies and training materials to ensure a breastfeeding-friendly climate for your employees and customers;
  • Share your successes, personal and professional, promoting breastfeeding; and
  • Celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding and share it with others.

The Birth of Breastfeeding Friendly

On March 9, 2007, a manager at a Pottery Barn store asked me to stop breastfeeding my seven-week-old baby. I was shocked and deeply disturbed that such ignorance could interrupt a baby’s basic human need being met. Such mistreatment could even upset a woman to the point that she limits or stops breastfeeding her baby altogether, increasing health risks to her and her baby.

I channeled my frustration into action and the results were deeply gratifying. The president of Pottery Barn’s parent company, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., called me to apologize.  She addressed the problem with the manager in question, sent phone messages immediately to all their stores to inform them of this injustice, followed up with conference calls to further educate their store managers, and added breastfeeding-friendly wording to their training materials and operations manuals.

Moreover, I was left with the realization that change is readily within everyone’s grasp. Each of us can do our part to create a more breastfeeding friendly world. While it takes some effort to compose a letter to inform a company of mistreatment, if every woman who had a negative experience nursing in public were to do so, I’m convinced that would help speed us down the path toward that future that I cherish – where no mother is asked to stop breastfeeding her baby in public, where nursing returns to being the norm and new mothers don’t hesitate to meet their child’s need wherever and whenever that need arises.

I knew I had to share my story with other women as part of my contribution to creating a more breastfeeding-friendly world. I was thrilled when my story was published in the July/August 2008 issue of Mothering. Online comments from readers rated my essay “Birth of a Lactivist” as the issue’s top story. The emails that followed were exceedingly appreciative and supportive. They also called for more. I received requests for the letter I sent to Pottery Barn. Rather than respond to one woman at a time, I decided to take the plunge and start a blog to share useful resources with a wider audience.

I hope you will find your visit here enjoyable and valuable, and that you will come back often. Please send me your contributions too – your stories and tools – so that together we can make this a valuable resource for others. I can be reached at breastfeedingfriendlyworld@gmail.com.

About comments

This blog is a forum for sharing inspiring stories, encouraging comments, and useful tools to help create a more breastfeeding-friendly world. Comments that contribute to this vision are most welcome! Negative or inappropriate comments will not be approved.

Thanks so much for visiting Breastfeeding Friendly!


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Emily-
    Thank you for all of this work that you are doing! I loved meeting you at Birth Circle while we were pregnant with our now 5-year olds, and finding out that our first births were so similar. I also loved hearing how awesomely different your second birth was, and was inspired that mine, too, could be so much better than my first. It’s great to see what you’ve been up to. Rock, on, Mama!

    • Stasi! How wonderful to hear from you! I loved sharing experiences and love and support for one another with you at Birth Circle. Very sweet memories. Please include the link to your website, as it popped up when I approved your comment, but I can’t find it now!? Would love to see what you’ve been up to since leaving Central Va. xo, Emily

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